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September 12, 2019

Pak-China joint statement: India irked over reference to IOK

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September 12, 2019

NEW DELHI: India is irked by the reference to Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in a joint statement issued by Pakistan and China following Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Pakistan on September 7-8, Indian media reported.

According to reports, Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar on Tuesday rejected the Pak-China joint statement and called on Pakistan and China to stop China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related activities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Kumar was quoted as saying: "We reject the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement issuedby China and Pakistan after the recent visit of Chinese Foreign Minister. J&K is ‘an integral part’ of India."

Additionally, he said that India has consistently expressed concerns to both Pakistan and China about CPEC projects in AJK, which he claimed was "territory of India that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947". He added that India was "resolutely opposed" to actions by any other countries to change the status quo of AJK. "We call on the parties concerned to cease such actions," Kumar was quoted as saying.

The Pak-China joint statement issued on Sept 8 noted that both Pakistan and China believe that the CPEC corridor "as a pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative" had entered a new phase of high-quality development.

"The two sides agreed to continue to firmly push forward the construction of CPEC, complete its on-going projects in a timely manner, and realise its full potential by focusing on socio-economic development, job creation and better livelihood and accelerating cooperation in industrial parks and agriculture.

"Both sides expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation between the two countries at multilateral fora and resolved to deepen strategic coordination and consultation." The statement also noted that the two sides had exchanged views on the situation in IOK. "China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation," the statement read.

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